Dr Drew Hall

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Why and what Is Causing My Chronic Nausea?

Posted in Nausea on Mar 26, 2017

Chronic Nausea | Can A Neck Injury Cause Nausea? 

Los Angeles  Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Chronic Nausea can be a drag on life.  Twenty-Three years ago I suffered from chronic nausea that lasted over two years.  Beyond the chronic daily headaches and 20 other symptoms, the nausea stood out.   

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It's a terrible feeling to feel like you are going to throw up at unexpected times throughout the day. And it doesn't exactly make eating one of the enjoyable daily experiences.  In the following article, we would like to discuss nausea that is not associated with other conditions such as vertigo, cancer, and pregnancy. 


Can Nausea Be A Result Of An Upper Cervical Injury?

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Sometimes it is easy to connect where nausea is coming from.  However, what about the person who suffers from chronic nausea who does not have one of the syndromes listed above? What might cause chronic nausea in someone who doesn't have vertigo or another condition?  

Recently we had a patient enter our office with chronic unrelenting nausea. It was not from vertigo, food poisoning or the other commonly associated conditions. He did remember having a whiplash-type injury prior to its onset.  Neurologically speaking it is possible that nausea can result from a neck injury.  

The nuclei that control the "GAG" reflex is located in the medulla or brain-stem. (fig.1) The brain-stem is housed by the lower skull, atlas (c-1) and axis(c-2).  If there is an injury to the upper cervical spine interference to the central nervous system and brain-stem can occur.(1,2,3) Listen to what one of our patients says about his nausea and upper cervical care :

Whiplash Injury And Interference To The Brain-Stem

Injury to the upper cervical spine can happen from a variety of traumas. It is common for most people to have several traumas throughout their life. Car accidents, sports injuries, slip and falls and other trauma can affect the structural relationship of the skull and neck.  

This anatomical region is the weakest link in the spine. The head weighs 10-12 pounds and sits on the atlas(c-1)that weighs 2 ounces. (fig. 2)  This area is held together and stabilized with ligaments, soft tissue, and muscles. Because of these facts, it is susceptible to injury and spinal misalignment.  

Forces generated from whiplash-type injuries cause the atlas vertebrae to structurally misalign. Injury to the joint capsule(the ligament that gives the joint support and stability) causes irritation to the central nerve system. The body attempts to adapt to the neck injury and in doing so the spine becomes structurally imbalanced.  

This chain reaction throughout the system structurally also affects the body functionally.   When the body loses its normal posture and spinal curves the stress and strain on the nerve tissue result in abnormal function. It has been our experience in clinical practice that this biomechanical problem is the root of many unexplained chronic health problems including nausea.

How Does An Upper Cervical Doctor Help Your Body Heal?

An upper Cervical Doctor has a singular objective; locate and correct upper neck misalignments and monitor over time. Objective neurological tests are used to determine whether or not the patient has an upper neck misalignment that is impacting the central nervous system. If it is a series of articular(joint) x-rays are taken. 

These x-rays look individually at each joint and how they fit each other.  Joints are mirror images and if there is a misalignment by viewing each joint it allows the doctor to see how you are off(direction) and how your joints are built(angulation).  This information is used in making precise spinal adjustments. 

Correcting misalignments in the neck allows the central nervous system to function without interference. Over time this allows damage that occurred due to a long-standing interference to the nervous system to correct. The Doctor will monitor your upper neck with objective tests to determine whether a correction is warranted or not.  

The goal is for the spinal misalignment to stay in its normal position for as long as possible. This allows for joint stabilization and long-term correction. To end we would like to use a famous quote that sums up our sentiments regarding healing, "Nature needs no Help Just no interference!"  

We hope that this article has been informative for those who are seeking answers. For every problem, there is a CAUSE.  Seeking causes and their correction is what allows healing to happen! 

If you would like to schedule a FREE consultation in one of our Los Angeles offices you can call 213 399-7772 LA or 310 324-6172 for our Carson office. 


  1. Craniocervical chiropractic procedures – a précis of upper cervical chiropractic
  2. The Role of the Craniocervical Junction in Craniospinal Hydrodynamics and Neurodegenerative Conditions
  3. Preliminary results after upper cervical chiropractic care in patients with chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency and multiple sclerosis.